City Dreamers offers a glimpse into the careers of four trailblazing urban architects of the 20th century: Phyllis Lambert, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Denise Scott Brown. Each of the four boasts an impressive and decades-long career in shaping urban spaces. Despite their lists of accomplishments, none have achieved the household name status of their male contemporaries like Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, or Mies van der Rohe.
Joseph Hillel’s film paints a portrait of each woman and highlights their landmark achievements of design, including Vancouver landmarks such as the Law Courts at Robson Square, the Museum of Anthropology, and VanDusen Botanical Garden, each designed by Oberlander. The film also uncovers the far-reaching influence that Lambert and van Ginkel had on Montreal’s urban planning and development, including their advocacy for preserving heritage buildings. Through interviews, archival footage, and drawings, City Dreamers celebrates the lives and careers of these pioneering women of city planning and architecture, and the uphill battles they faced in a male-dominated field. -VF